Psychiatric association publishes nearly 50 pages of DEI resources

The Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry published nearly 50 pages of DEI resources, which include a glossary of structural racism.

The resources also include the American Psychiatric Association pro-choice position on abortion and the American Public Health Association declaring that ‘climate change is a health emergency.’

The Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) recently published a 49-page diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (DEIA) resource list. 

ADMSEP is “an organization for ALL educators and administrative staff dedicated to promoting excellence in behavioral sciences and psychiatric education for medical students,” according to its website.

The DEIA resources list belongs to the new normal of universities and professional organizations having dedicated pages for diversity and social justice and taking official stances on controversial topics such as abortion. 

Francis Lu, an ADMSEP member and professor emeritus at the University of California (UC), Davis, curated the list. Lu has a long history of involvement with psychological organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association (APA), American College of Psychiatrics, and World Psychiatric Association. 

Lu, who "has presented at every APA Annual Meeting since 1984," also has a history of promoting DEI in his profession. One 2021 article co-authored by Lu focuses on how to enhance diversity and inclusion in psychiatry training and commends another professional organization for appointing a chief diversity officer, a position that Campus Reform has reported at colleges and universities. 

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His resources list highlights 30 important items, including a glossary of structural racism terms from the APA. The APA’s Presidential Task Force lists definitions for “white fragility” and “microaggressions,” as well as separate definitions for “racism,” “structural racism,” “individual racism,” and “institutional racism.”

Another highlighted document is the APA’s “Social Determinants of Mental Health in Children and Youth,” which references gender-affirming care. “Affirmative care is an approach to care that embraces a positive view of LGBTQ+ identities and relationships and addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and their families,” the document reads. 

The guidelines for treating transgender patients from the American Psychological Association provide more information on gender-affirming care. The guidelines say that, in adolescence, an “intense focus on immediate needs may create challenges in assuring that adolescents are cognitively and emotionally able to make life-altering decisions to change their name or gender marker, begin hormone therapy (which may affect fertility), or pursue surgery.” 

The guidelines add, “Nonetheless, there is greater consensus that treatment approaches for adolescents affirm an adolescents’ [sic] gender identity.” 

“Treatment options for adolescents extend beyond social approaches to include medical approaches,” such as puberty blockers, according to the guidelines. 

[RELATED: Hormone therapy, top surgeries part of medical school's ‘gender-affirming’ care]

Other topics on the list include the APA’s pro-choice position on abortion and the American Public Health Association declaring that “climate change is a health emergency.” 

ADMSEP also launched a DEIA task force, with a charge “to guide the organization and its committees on ways to infuse antiracism in its activities.” 

Lu has done similar work to compile DEI resources for other organizations such as The Association for Academic Psychiatry, the College for Behavioral Health Leadership, and the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.